Jack Sisterson is no newcomer to the racetrack but is a recent addition to the training ranks after being engaged by the storied Calumet Farm to train Bandua.
Now, after just a few months on the job, Sisterson will be visiting Woodbine for the first time and bringing along the three-year-old Bandua for the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International, set for Saturday, Oct. 13.
Bandua will be making his first start in Sisterson’s name after beginning his career in Ireland with Dermot Weld, who also was the trainer of record for the colt’s first two American starts.
“Dermot had his own crew at Arlington and Kentucky Downs,” said Sisterson. “Jeff Byrne was traveling with the horse and did a great job. They left him in great shape for us and we were in a situation where we just had to keep the horse happy, really.”
Sisterson had been keeping a close eye on the proceedings, however, when Bandua finished third when facing fellow three-year-olds in Arlington’s Grade 1 Secretariat over 1 ¼ miles of good turf.
“His effort in the Secretariat was very promising, I thought,” said Sisterson. “They went quickly enough up front. He showed a lot of early speed, to sort of keep up with those fractions, and sort of kept him going.”
Bandua’s next and most recent appearance, also against his own age group, yielded a fourth-place finish in the Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs with his Canadian International pilot Adam Beschizza in the irons for the first time.
“He was in a good spot, and Adam gave him a great ride,” said Sisterson. “Whether it was the track he didn’t sort of like, or what it was, I thought he’d run a better race than he did. We think he’ll come on a lot for that run.”
Beschizza will be back in the irons, also making his Canadian debut, and Sisterson believes the spacious Woodbine layout will enable Bandua to deliver an optimum performance.
“I think if a horse is ever tailor-made for a course, it would be Bandua for Woodbine,” said Sisterson. “He’s got such a big stride, and he’s a very galloping type of horse. We’re excited to run him up there.”
Khan do! German-bred looks to make it back-to-back upsets
Fresh off a Group 1 romp in Germany, Khan (GER), a four-year-old son of Santiago, rolls into the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International at the top of his game.
Winless in five 2018 starts heading into the Grade 1 Preis von Europa on September 23, Khan, under Clement Lecoeuvre, notched a six-length score over yielding ground in the 1 ½-mile turf event in Cologne.
The bay’s trainer, Henk Grewe, would love to see a repeat of both the effort and the conditions.
“He was very impressive in that race,” said Grewe of the horse bred by Gestut Karlshof. “On deep ground, he’s much better than compared to good to firm ground. He is a specialist on the deep ground.”
Grewe will no doubt be keeping tabs on the Toronto weather forecast ahead of the $800,000 International.
While he won’t be here to watch the race live, Khan’s owner, Dr. Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of pharmaceutical company, Merck, will be at Woodbine to watch his silk bearer contest the 81st edition of the event.
“If the turf is deep, Khan will appreciate that, no doubt,” said Grewe. “I think this course will be just fine for him. He just loves that deep ground to run on. He’s shown that throughout his career.”
Khan will be reunited with Lecoeuvre for the October 13 race.
“They suit each other very well and hopefully, we can have another similar result,” said Grewe.
After conquering the German Group 1 scene, Khan, making his first Canadian start, will look to head home with another prominent turf triumph added to his racing résumé.
“He’s very uncomplicated,” said Grewe. “He really doesn’t care about anything and nothing really bothers him. I’m very happy with the way he is coming into the International, especially after how well he performed in his last race.”
Khan is expected to arrive on the Woodbine backstretch on Tuesday evening.
EARLY LOOK AT THE GRADE 1 PATTISON CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL (13)
Horse – Owner – Trainer – Jockey
Arklow – Donegal Racing, Bulger, Joseph and Coneway, Peter – Brad H. Cox – TBA
Bandua – Calumet Farm – Jack Sisterson – Adam Beschizza
Desert Encounter (IRE) – Abdulla Al Mansoori – David Simcock – Harry Bentley
English Illusion – 4U Thoroughbred Racing Stable Inc. – Sylvain Pion – Rafael Hernandez
Focus Group – Klaravich Stables & William H. Lawrence – Chad C. Brown – Jose Ortiz
Funtastic – Three Chimneys Farm – Chad C. Brown – John Velazquez
Johnny Bear – Colebrook Farms and Bear Stables, Ltd. – Ashlee Brnjas – Luis Contreras
Khan (GER) – Darius Racing – Henk Grewe – Clement Lecoeuvre
Markitoff – Three Diamonds Farm – Michael J. Maker – Irad Ortiz Jr.
Mekhtaal (GB) – Al Shaqab Racing – H. Graham Motion – Alan Garcia
Spring Quality – Augustin Stable – H. Graham Motion – Edgar Prado
Thundering Blue – Clive Washbourn – David Menuisier – Fran Berry
Tiz a Slam – Chiefswood Stable – Roger L. Attfield – Steve Bahen
EARLY LOOK AT THE GRADE 1 E.P. TAYLOR STAKES (9)
Horse – Owner – Trainer – Jockey
Elysea’s World (IRE) – Sheep Pond Partners and All Pro Racing LLC – Chad C. Brown – Joe Bravo
Golden Legend (FR) – Mrs. Henri Devin – H.F. Devin – Alexis Badel
Pollara (IRE) – Peter M. Brant and Allen Stable Inc. – Chad C. Brown – Irad Ortiz Jr.
Proctor’s Ledge – Patricia L. Moseley – Brendan P. Walsh – John Velazquez
Santa Monica (GB) – Mrs. John Magnier, Madaket Stables LLC and Deron Pearson – Chad C. Brown – Jose Ortiz
Sheikha Reika (FR) – Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum – Roger Varian – Andrea Atzeni
Sky Full of Stars (GER) – Gestut Karlshof – Henk Grewe – TBA
Starship Jubilee – Soli Mehta and Kevin Attard – Kevin Attard – Luis Contreras
Summer Luck – Gary Barber – Mark E. Casse – TBA